by Fr. Joe Nassal, C.PP.S.
The season of Lent begins with Jesus’ invitation to pray by going to one’s “inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in private.” On the Sunday after Easter, recently referred to as “Divine Mercy Sunday,” Jesus appears to his fearful disciples in the “upper room” where he shows them his wounds and breathes on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” From the inner room to the upper room, our journey as missionary disciples is to find the room we need to embrace our identity as God’s beloved daughters and sons, and then to live this identity in loving service of the kingdom of God.
On the Saturday after Ash Wednesday, March 8, we invite you to begin the season of Lent in prayer at Precious Blood Center as we explore how we recover or rediscover our true self—our identity as God’s beloved. Through the lens of the gospels for the Sundays of Lent, Holy Week, Easter Sunday, and Divine Mercy Sunday, we will reflect on what keeps us from being and becoming our true self.
In the morning conference, we will accompany Jesus into the desert where he is tempted to become a different kind of Messiah and where we experience the same temptations that threaten to rob us of our true self. We will spend time on the holy mountain where he is transfigured and where his identity—and ours—is confirmed, “This is my beloved Son.” We will also journey with Jesus to Samaria where we encounter the woman at the well and discover how through conversation and storytelling our true self is further shaped and strengthened.
There will be time to reflect on these stories in silence and come together to share the wisdom of our solitude. We will enjoy a wonderful lunch together and then gather again for a conference in the afternoon where the story of the man blind from birth serves as an invitation to confirm our true self even in the face of overwhelming obstacles. We will also explore the story of Lazarus and hear Jesus cry out to him and to us: “Come out of your tombs of fear and death!” And finally we will journey with Jesus to Jerusalem, through the streets where he is first hailed as a hero, to the table where he washes the feet of his friends and shares the cup of his suffering, to the garden where he is arrested, to the hill where he is tortured and crucified, and to the tomb where he is buried.
After some quiet time to ponder these events and how they resonate in our own journey of faith, we will gather once again for a closing reflection and prayer on the empty tomb and the upper room.
Please plan to join us from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, March 8, as we begin the season of Lent in prayer and possibility of recovering our true identity as God’s beloved. The day will end with 4 p.m. Mass to celebrate the First Sunday of Lent.
Contact Br. Daryl Charron, C.PP.S. to register, firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Fr. Joe Nassal, C.PP.S.